Water for the Flock

Water provided for the flock. In selecting pasturage for the flock, it is an absolute necessity that water be provided, and that it be easy of access. Often flocks are stationed near to a stream of running water. But the sheep are apt to be afraid of drinking water that moves quickly, or that is agitated. Therefore the shepherd looks for pools of water, or provides some quiet place where they may quench their thirst. How appropriate then are the words concerning the divine Shepherd: "He leadeth me beside the still waters" (Psalm 23:2). But when all such watering places are dried up in the heat of summer, as is often the case in Israel, then wells are used. Usually a large rock is placed over the mouth of the well and this must be removed, as Jacob did, before the sheep can be watered (Genesis 29:8-10). Noontide is usually the time for watering the sheep. When Jacob was at the well, he said, "Lo, it is yet high day . . . water ye the sheep" (Genesis 29:7) The matter of water supply plays an important part in locating the flock for pasturage. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]

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